Oct 20, 2022 - Food and Drink

Farmers help Tennessee Brew Works grow

Beer poured into a glass

Photo: courtesy of Tennessee Brew Works

Tennessee Brew Works doubled down on creative partnerships with local growers for a new release, a blackberry beer that's available now.

  • The Cul2vate Kölsch beer was brewed with blackberries provided by the Cul2vate nonprofit farm.

Why it matters: The company's collaborative approach has been met with stellar growth in recent years, culminating in the expansion into East Tennessee with a new manufacturing facility and taproom slated to open in Lenoir City in early 2024.

  • The brewery tells Axios it produced 5,500 barrels in 2021, a 57% increase over the year before.

What he's saying: “Continuing our mission to showcase the best of Tennessee, the Cul2vate Kölsch embodies the synergies between the Tennessee farming community and craft breweries," Tennessee Brew Works founder and president Christian Spears says.

Flashback: Tennessee Brew Works won a bronze medal in the field beers category at the 2021 Great American Beer Festival for its Farmer's Beat — a farmhouse ale/saison brewed with beets from Delvin Farms.

  • In 2018, the brewery also launched the Tennessee Grain Initiative with the goal of pairing Tennessee breweries and farmers.
  • As part of that launch, Tennessee Brew Works released the State Park Blonde, the first commercially brewed beer made with all Tennessee grains. It's the official beer of Tennessee state parks, and a portion of the proceeds goes to the State Parks Conservancy.

Flash forward: The Lenoir City Barrel House kicks Tennessee Brew Works' farmer-fueled approach into overdrive.

  • The brewery, housed in a former fire station, will showcase experimental and small-batch specialty beers, the brewery announced when it unveiled the barrel house last month.
  • "This company has gone above and beyond to form relationships with farmers and to highlight Tennessee-grown ingredients in their beers and on their menu," Tennessee Commissioner of Agriculture Charlie Hatcher said in a press release.
  • "Our communities benefit from successful partnerships between local businesses and local farms.”

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